Saturday, June 23, 2012

I "Called the Out" The Mom's I know

     So we this week has been full of new things to do.  I've just been called as the Young Women's secretary.  For those of you who are not of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith, this means I keep the records for the young women 12-18 in our ward congregation.  (Yes, this is a genealogy/family history post... keep reading).  There are about 30 girls.  Not a HUGE job, but for someone who has all boys, who has for the most part served in Primary (president & teacher), Relief Society (counselor and teacher) and in the Scouting organizations in various jobs ... this is a bit scary.  The last time I served in Young Women's, Brian was a toddler!!  Brian will be 27 this month, so it's been well over 20 years since I've served in the YW organization.
     Add to that, the fact that I've NEVER been a Secretary in any organization (kept some scout records), and this figures into a huge learning curve for me!
     A few weeks ago while getting things in order for my mothers' last few days/weeks/months her with us, I recalled her serving as a secretary many times in many organizations.  This remembrance came to me as I was organizing some thoughts to put in her obituary.  I mused on it for awhile and that's when I realized that I'd never served as a secretary in any organization... and then I thought "boy, I bet that would be a fun calling"!!  HA on me!!!  The Bishopric counselor came last week and asked me to serve as the secretary for the YW and I could hardly believe I said "YES" before I knew what was coming out of my mouth.
     With these new thoughts of my mom and with a new set of digital books Greg bought for us to read as "bedtime stories" (yes, most of the time we read bedtime stories together!), (it's called "True Miracles With Genealogy"), I did as one contributor suggested:  TALK with a deceased relative.  Kinda weird I thought, but why not, nothing else has given me the answers I'm looking for.
     I've also told Greg on occasion that I'd like to "slap some dead people"... this is usually when I obtain a record on someone, and the person (usually deceased by this time) who filled out the form or record left a big BLANK in the spot for the part of the record I was looking for an answer to.  So if I feel like slapping a dead person for leaving information off a record, I guess I could also TALK to a dead person!
     So on Thursday morning I left for work with the intention of talking with some dead people!  I first started when I left to go to Salt Lake City (I drive there twice a day from Springville). I had to go to the Orem store, so my plan was to first have a prayer to my Heavenly Father for all my blessings (one of which was that we got Ole Blue running after 9 months).
     That prayer took up the 15 minutes to get to the Orem store.  Then my plan was to TALK (not pray) to my deceased relatives.  That would take the better part of the rest of the trip 30+ minutes.  By this time, I was pretty grateful for a lot of things and covered them in the prayer, so I felt quite brave and bold and decided that this would be a CALL THEM OUT kind of talk.  Yep, I started with my grandmother Jane Elizabeth Wooley who married George Bogner Jr.  I told her how grateful I was for all the things she did while she was in my life.  She was an AWESOME mom, grandma and great grandma.  Grandma Jane raised 4 families!!  Her own kids, her own brother and sister after their mom died, then she raised her daughter's kids (us) and then she raised my brother's kids (her great grandchildren)!  My own mother raised her own 3 children after her divorce and then helped raise my brother's children after he divorced!  They were baby raisin' women.  I told them I'm not quite that good and that I didn't think I could ever take on that kind of task, how you ladies did it ... I'll never know, but I thanked Grandma Jane and then reminded her that she is sealed to her daughter (my mom) and that she is sealed to her mother  Minnie Rhea Adams.
     Then I called out Minnie Rhea Adams, who married Alfred Erwin Wooley.  I told her I knew her life was hard too.  That she raised 3 children after the death of her 40 year old husband when she was not even 38 herself!  She then got in an ugly marriage and divorced, and then a 3rd marriage.  Poor little lady was all worn out at the age of 46.  So I reminded this sweet great grandma that She had her children sealed to her and that she was also sealed to HER mother, Elizabeth Anna Joseph.
     Then I called out Elizabeth Anna Joseph, my great great grandmother who married George Washington Adams.  I told her what I knew about her.   She had 13 children!!  She also died young at the age of 43 shortly after the birth of her 13th child.  I reminded her that her children were sealed to her and that she was also sealed to her mother Elizabeth Henrietta Booz.
     Then I called out Elizabeth Henrietta Booz, my 3rd great grandmother.  She married William McGowen Joseph.  Elizabeth became a mother the instant she married William.  William had 2 children from a previous marriage and Elizabeth raised those boys as her own!  Then she added to her family, 3 children, one child died early and the other two were girls.  Elizabeth worked for a time as a "chambermaid" in the Clarendon Hotel in Zanesville, Ohio.  Times must have been tough for a married woman to work outside the home in 1890 at the age of 40!  I also reminded her that she was sealed to her children, and her mother Mercy Ann VanHorn.
     Then I called out Mercy Ann VanHorn, my 4th great grandmother who married Charles Booz in Pennsylvania about 1837 and traveled to Ohio about 1838-1839 before her 2nd child was born.  I'll bet this wasn't easy.  It also wasn't easy to give birth nearly every other year for 30 years!!!  Yes, she had 15 children spanning a 30 year period. Not only that, but in 1880 one of her children had TB.  Louisa (her daughter) survived and had children of her own, but Mercy Ann was her caregiver in 1880.  In 1892 Amanda Booz (another daughter) died of TB and only months later Amanda's daughter (Mercy's granddaughter) Lillie died of the same dreaded disease... Lillie was living with Mercy Ann when she passed away!  In 1893 John Booz (her son who served in the Civil War) died of TB as well!  3 other children died early as well.  Mercy probably nursed all of them during this time... how in the world, grandma Mercy, did you survive 4 children with TB and still outlive them?  What kind of mother was she???  Well one of her nicknames was LOVE!  Does that give you an idea?  So again I reminded Mercy Ann of the trip to the Salt Lake Temple to seal her to her dear husband Charles Booz and then we spent the next hour sealing all of her 15 children to her.  What a day that was...  But then, for the first time in my "calling out" of my moms I had to pause and with a sad heart reminded her that although she is sealed to all 15 of her children, she is NOT sealed to anyone.  Not because the desire on my part to do the work is not there, it's because I don't know who her mother and father are.  And I called out Charles for the same reason:  I don't know who his parents are either.
     So EVERYONE was asked to help with this mystery.
     My gratitude grew for each of my grandparents in each generation.  As I recalled all I knew about each one, all their joys, sacrifices and heartaches, my appreciation for each of them grew.
     No one has come to "visit" me, and I don't expect them to.  But I know they are there to help me find the sources I'm going to need to finish this puzzle.  Someone needs to step up :}!!  I really don't want to get to the other side of the veil an have to "slap" any of you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New information revealed with "old" eyes.

   A wonderful thing happened a few months ago.  I was trying to find several things pertaining to the Bogners and especially my grandmother Jane Elizabeth Wooley-Bogner.  Mom and Grandma did loads of genealogy, but for some reason, no name had been attributed as the 2nd husband of Minnie Rhea Adams-Wooley.  Minnie Rhea is my great grandmother and the mother of my grandma Jane Elizabeth Wooley.   The love of Minnie's life, (Alfred Erwin Wooley) died when he was not even 40 years old.  Mom & Grandma put a space for a spouse for her in between Alfred and her 3rd husband, John Walker... but for years that space just remained.  In fact while cleaning up my files, I thought surely there must NOT have even been a middle or 2nd spouse for her because in 10+ years of my research (not counting mom & grandmas time)... nothing turned up.

   More than a year ago I found Grandma Jane's marriage record had been transcribed on NewFamilySearch Labs.  I only had the transcription not the actual image.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with genealogical work, transcriptions are records that are typed by common people like you and I.  Their job is to fill in the blanks on a form.  In the case of marriage records usually it has you fill in the blanks for Grooms name / Brides name / parents of each / possibly their birth date or at least how old they were at the time of marriage and other such information.  I copied the transcription down from the website and walked away from searching again for quite a while.  A few months ago I went back in to NewFamilySearch and now they had digitized records of marriage for West Virginia AND there were IMAGES!!!  Oh my gosh, I thought... I get to download a copy of grandma's marriage record!

   I opened this document below and my mind went reeling!!
   See the little snipit of paper in the upper left area of the document????  It says Minnie Harshfield (mother) gives her consent to Jane Elizabeth's marriage to George Bogner.   OH MY HECK!!  Really?  Harshfield, the name of her 2nd husband!

   Family lore was that her 2nd husband was abusive and it was quite a bad marriage.  Some accounts are that he was looking for some money Minnie might have had due to her husband's accidental death from a fall from a telegraph pole.  

Alfred Erwin Wooley at work

   Whatever the reason.  "Mrs. Minnie Harsfield" was Minnie Rhea Adams-Wooley-Harsfield... my great grandmother.  And this document shows she was still married to Roy Harshfield at the time her daughter Jane married George.  Only 4 months after Minnie's  husband Alfred died she married Roy on 23 Sep 1933 (this record is in my possession), and sometime later divorced him.

   Minnie's third marriage was to John Walker.  They married about 1937 but I haven't found the record of their marriage yet.  Minnie died in New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana while she was still married to John.  I'm not sure what became of John after Minnie's death.

   Another Bogner story began about 1940 and still goes on today.
   George Bogner Jr. (my grandfather) had a brother Frank Christ Bogner.  Frank had been married 3 times, and I didn't have much information on the first two wives.  I had the pleasure to meet his last wife Ann, when I was in Jr. High. Mom & grandma took us kids out west for vacation from Ohio.  We went to Frank & Ann's house in Colorado and I remember only two of their children: Linda and Gary.  Their oldest, Donald I don't remember... he may have been married at the time as I believe Gary was already in High School.
   Though I had 3 wives and not much info, I left it that way for years... until I purchased an account and began adding information and photos to the site.  One photo was this one:
of Frank in his Military uniform for WWII.

   It was the 2nd week of April, 2011 and I received an email from a lady stating that  I had a photo of her father on my page.  I went to my ancestral file and sure enough, there was NO CHILD listed for the first marriage.  WEIRD, I thought, mom and grandma were super accurate on family history and why isn't Sharon here?  I searched and quickly found her birth certificate and it confirmed her story and the next email she sent me had that birth certificate attached!  She is definitely the child of Frank!

   Since that time we have corresponded back and forth and in only 6 weeks I get to meet her in the flesh!  In the last year while corresponding, we've solved another mystery together.  The name of Frank's 2nd spouse.  I only had "Naomi", but continued to dig.  I was able to obtain Frank's divorce papers from the probate court from Naomi and found that she wanted her name restored to "Karchner" a quick search in the Mansfield News Journal revealed that Naomi Karchner was the widow of Willard N. Karchner who died in Belgium during WWII.  Further research revealed that she was the daughter of Clarence Buell, a prominent photography shop owner in Mansfield.  The name of his business was Buell-Kraft Studios located in Mansfield, Ohio... and is still in business today!

   Oh, and my goodness, look at the photo above of Frank clearly:  It was taken at Buell-Kraft Studios.

   These are only two of the "journeys" I've been on over the last few years.  They've netted loads of secrets, surprises and blessings in my life that I still can hardly fathom!  I'm so grateful for all the doors this work has opened up and for all the help I've received from relatives here on this side of the veil and on the other side of the veil as well.  I know for a fact that those on the other side are "happy" with these finds and that they've actually had a hand in guiding me to the records I need to confirm all the facts.

   Never dismiss anything, never think you have EVERYTHING just because you have one document, and never neglect to go over and over and over those documents again and again and again... you never know what your OLD eyes will see for the first time on a document you've looked at a thousand times!!